What tools would you be stranded on an island with?

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Forum topic by Mottom posted 04-30-2008 09:35 PM 1874 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 4136 days

04-30-2008 09:35 PM

I know this sounds like a strange and silly question, but it is a question that I have to answer soon. Next year, I will be returning to Okinawa, Japan, as part of my Navy service. I’ll be shore based, but I know that my weight allowance to Japan (vice what I would be allowed for moving in the states) and the size of my domicile will religate my big power tools to storage for 3 years.
I figure that the largest power tool that I’ll be able to take will be my hand held router. I’d like to put together a list of small tools (preferably hand tools), that will allow me to produce small projects (boxes and frames) because I refuse to take the medications that they give me to make the woodworking craving go away. 3 years is too long to go without sawdust.
I currently have a nice set of bench chisels, carving chisels, sharpening stones, a dovetail saw, coping saw, Stanley 3,4,5,&7 planes, low angle and standard angle block planes, a bull nose plane, a stanley 78 rabbet plane, veritas dovetail and saddle jigs, a dovetail and mortise marking gauge, a small wood vice and a zyliss vice(since I won’t be able to take a workbench), and an 18-volt handtool set (drill, sander, 5&1/2” circular saw, and light).
I figure that I’ll need a miter box, (maybe) a lion miter trimmer (or I could make a shooting board for the above mentioned planes), good steel rulers, marking knives (might as well take up some marquetry), mortise chisels, and a plow plane.
What else do you think that I need to add to my collection to make sure that I can play with a bit of wood? Thanx for your sage advice.

-- A novice at the craft and loving every minute!

8 replies so far

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4143 days

#1 posted 04-30-2008 09:47 PM

A compass divider & square. While you are there, buy Japanese hand saws for ripping and cross cutting. Also, you may want to bring some clamps.In closing, thank you for your dedicated service to our country!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Thuan's profile


203 posts in 4051 days

#2 posted 04-30-2008 10:44 PM

I would bring a Frame saw with all the different blades, that way you can fit a ripsaw, cross cut and scroll saw in the space of one saw.

-- Thuan

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4108 days

#3 posted 04-30-2008 11:26 PM

Two original quality Workmates you can lay a couple boards across as a field expedient workbench, or at least one.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4032 days

#4 posted 04-30-2008 11:53 PM

Sounds like you made a nice list- you may consider picking up some Japanese hand tools/chisels, saws, carving THERE- I bet there is a great “black market” and/or used market – you may be able to get some authentic Japanese tools at a great price.

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View Slacker's profile


178 posts in 3934 days

#5 posted 05-01-2008 03:54 AM

Don’t they sell power tools in Japan?

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View Mottom's profile


30 posts in 4136 days

#6 posted 05-01-2008 02:56 PM

Hi Slacker,
They do sell power tools in Japan, but I won’t have the room in my military quarters, nor the weight allowance to bring them back home. I just want to put together a small shop to allow me to take the edge off my wood addiction while I’m there: small boxes, frames, maybe a little marquetry, and some carving. I’m definitely looking at doing what Bill suggested, buying some Japanese hand-tools (If my wallet can survive the shock).

-- A novice at the craft and loving every minute!

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 4005 days

#7 posted 05-01-2008 03:07 PM

Mottom, I don’t know where in Okinawa you will be stationed, but it is possible the base will have a wood hobby shop. It could make your choices of tools a lot easier. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View Mottom's profile


30 posts in 4136 days

#8 posted 05-01-2008 03:41 PM

I really hope they do have shop, but I’m planning like they won’t. I was on the Rock (Oki) 13 years ago and no shop then (or at least I don’t remember one…I wasn’t into wood at the time). I checked the military SITES (some acronym I don’t remember) database, but it didn’t list one. I hope I’m wrong, but I’ve got to plan for tools to keep playing. If they do have a shop, hopefully, my hand-tool collection will complement their power tools; oftentimes, military wood shops have good power tools, but but poorly maintained hand tools (becausae our military mind-set…”apply more power”...isn’t always the best thing for fine tools).

-- A novice at the craft and loving every minute!

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